I have a different view than reporter Kip Hill has of what transpired during the Special City Council Meeting Monday June 26th, 2017 at 10:30 AM, and I’m glad I was tipped that the meeting was going to take place so that I could show up.
The “Consultant”, didn’t say SPD needs 44 more police officers on patrol. What he actually said was that in order to reach “his” theory that 30 minutes per hour of a police officer’s time should be spent reacting to Calls for Service (CFS), and the remaining 30 minutes should be involved in proactive policing, to reach his 30/30 theory would require 44 more officers. Tim Freesmeyer the hired Consultant cleared up where his 30/30 per hour theory came from in response to a direct question posed to him by Council President Stuckart. The follow-up was, is his 30/30 theory something other departments use and his answer was yes, however no one asked which departments those were.
One of the other follow-up questions regarding Mr. Freesmeyer’s 30/30 theory should have been;
“So, what you are saying is that 50% of each hour a police officer spends on shift they should be doing proactive police work, which means that during the 10-hour shift SPD now uses, 50% or 5 hours of that shift should be doing proactive police work is that correct?”
The follow-up to that question would of course be;
“How does a 50% proactive shift target stack up with industry standards?”
Well, the truth is that there aren’t any “industry standards”, and it just depends on who is doing the staffing analysis. Decades ago, yes when I had to do this stuff, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) came up with the 20/20/20 ratio or one third of the shift devoted to proactive time which they still use today when doing Staffing Analysis.
20 minutes of each hour to be allocated to calls for service
20 minutes of each hour to be allocated for administrative duties
20 minutes of each hour is free for proactive patrol response
What is interesting regarding IACP’s long standing formula is that according to Mr. Freesmeyer’s analysis SPD is over the 20 minutes of each hour using IACP standards by 2.06 minutes.
Some folks will remember this story I did.
Etico (Tim Freesmeyer) was chosen to do the Patrol Division Only Staffing Analysis of SPD ahead of other Consultants. There is a story behind his choice, but SPD has spent enough time and money on “Leak Investigations” involving me so I will forego the background at this point. By the way according to sources the “Great McMurtrey Leak Investigation” is supposed to be completed this week with a finding of “Administratively Suspended”.
Just to give you an idea of how other Consultants who responded to the “Minor Contract” Patrol Staffing Analysis would have said and what they would have recommended differently from Mr. Freesmeyer, I’ll document for you.
The Matrix Group who previously did an analysis of the entire SPD would have said this:
While proactivity needs depend on the community served by the department,
between 50% and 60% of the actual time worked in the field by patrol units
should be used to handle community-generated workload. The remaining 40-
50% of time should be used to conduct proactive patrol and community policing
“Proactive time” is defined as all other activity not in response to a citizen
generated call; it occurs during the shift when Officers are not handling
calls and have completed other necessary tasks; it includes items such as
traffic enforcement, directed patrol, bike and foot patrol. It is also
sometimes referred to as “uncommitted” time but that is somewhat of a
misnomer as it only means “not committed to handling community
generated calls for service”.
The Bureau should have clearly defined uses for “proactive time” – i.e.
Officers should know what they are expected to do with their time when
not responding to calls for service. This may include targeted preventive
patrol for general visibility, traffic enforcement, developing relationships
with members of the community, visiting schools or parks.
The proactive element of field patrol should make up between 30% and
50% of an Officer’s day (on average).
Research and experience has shown the 30-50% range to be reasonable
“proactive time” levels:
– Less than 30-35% “proactive time” available to Officers typically does not
allow for sufficient “bundling” of available time – time comes in intervals
too short to be effectively utilized by law enforcement personnel for
– “Proactive time” of more than 50% results in less efficient use of Officer
resources as it is difficult to have sufficient meaningful work tasks and
manage personnel whose time is so heavily weighted toward proactive
– Some exceptions to this latter concern are units which are dedicated to
handle certain types of activity, (e.g., traffic enforcement units, School
Resource Officers, etc.) However, it should be noted that the Officers
assigned to these units should respond to any call for service when
– A level of 50% “proactive time” or higher is typically seen in smaller
suburban or rural communities; a level of 35-40% is more common in
*** For those interested here is the earlier (2007) study of the entire SPD done by the Matrix Group:
CPSM who use the “Rule of 60” would have said this:
In general, a “Rule of 60” can be applied to evaluate patrol staffing. The Rule of 60 has two parts. The first part maintains that 60 percent of the sworn officers in a department should be dedicated to the patrol function, and the second part maintains that no more than 60 percent of patrol time should be “saturated” by workload demands from the community.
The second part of the Rule of 60 examines workload and discretionary time and suggests that no more than 60 percent of time should be committed to calls for service. In other words, ICMA suggests that no more than 60 percent of available patrol officer time be spent responding to the service demands of the community. The remaining 40 percent of the time is the discretionary time for officers to be available to address community problems and be available for serious emergencies. This Rule of 60 for patrol deployment does not mean the remaining 40 percent of time is downtime or break time. It is simply a reflection of the point at which patrol officer time is saturated by CFS.
This ratio of dedicated time compared to discretionary time is referred to as the saturation index (SI). It is ICMA’s contention that patrol staffing is optimally deployed when the SI is slightly less than 60 percent. An SI greater than 60 percent indicates that the patrol manpower is largely reactive, and overburdened with CFS and workload demands. An SI of somewhat less than 60 percent indicates that patrol manpower is optimally staffed. SI levels much lower than 60 percent, however, indicate patrol resources that are underutilized and signal an opportunity for a reduction in patrol resources or reallocation of police personnel.
Departments must be cautious in interpreting the SI too narrowly. For example, one should not conclude that SI can never exceed 60 percent at any time during the day, or that in any given hour no more than 60 percent of any officer’s time be committed to CFS. The SI at 60 percent is intended to be a benchmark to evaluate service demands on patrol staffing. If SI levels are near or exceed 60 percent for substantial periods of a given shift, or at isolated and specific times during the day, decisions should be made to reallocate or realign personnel to reduce the SI to levels below 60. Lastly, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, but a benchmark to be used in evaluating staffing decisions.
IACP gets the contract and you see things like this:
Uncommitted time is the time left over after officers complete the work associated with
both obligated/committed time and administrative time.
A general principle for distribution of time for patrol is 30% across the board for
administrative, operational, and uncommitted time with a 10% flex factor. Ideally,
particularly for service-driven organizations, the remaining 10% becomes uncommitted
time, allowing officers more time for proactive community engagement. For a
jurisdiction the size of Alexandria, and with its stated focus on exceptional service and
community policing, no less than 40% uncommitted patrol time is ideal.
The Police Foundation it is hard to tell what the Police Foundation would have said if they got the job instead of ETICO. They aren’t really into the Staffing Analysis business, but when they do get a job they usually either sub-contract or have their own staff do whatever the RFP entails. The only actual staffing analysis that I’m aware they have previously done is the San Diego one-man two-man patrol car issue. They do respond to a lot of RFPs though, you have to keep that money coming in to pay that PF Staff.
“The separate Police Foundation collaborative reform report of St. Louis County police anticipated more than 140 days of consultant work, spread among at least a half dozen consultants, at a rate of $550 a day. The estimates on consultants’ pay, travel costs, and that of Police Foundation officials over multiple trips to St. Louis, along with other costs, such as phones and space rental, came to more than $780,000, according to the documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.”
As I have mentioned time and time again Law Enforcement data presentations are for the most part intended to Baffle those that are being presented the data to accomplish a particular agenda. I am not trying to Baffle anyone in this story and I’m only presenting the FACTS.
Taking into consideration what I have documented above, and believe me there is plenty more documentation, and to make things simple as well as correct some misstatements made during Freesmeyer’s presentation to the City Council here are the facts
Mr. Freesmeyer’s 30/30, or half the shift theory for proactive activity is not consistent with other “Consultants/Experts” in the field, and in some cases establishing a 50% proactive target is not productive.
As was stated in the Special Meeting Notice members of the public were not supposed to ask questions or comment during this meeting, but when one of the several SPD Officers present interrupted Freesmeyer, you know what I did… yup… I asked Freesmeyer if he included officers of patrol rank who were not assigned to a patrol function, after a bit of a dance his answer was NO and the 165 Officers he used were actually assigned to patrol. The purpose of my question was two-fold, which hopefully the City Council will realize after reading this. First to establish if Freesmeyer even knew how many Officers of patrol rank are actually on SPD yet spread throughout the organization doing other than patrol duties, apparently, he doesn’t, and I’m not sure SPD does either.
If you had read my stories linked above you would know that Mr. Freesmeyer isn’t the only one that did a Staffing Analysis of SPD, as recommended by COPS/DOJ, the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) also did one.
*** I should note that when I started on a roll with some knowledgeable questioning of Mr. Freesmeyer Council President Stuckart put an end to it, which I expected, but I did inform him after the meeting that if he interrupted me again when I was on a roll, he would have another George McGrath on his hands. All jokingly of course! 😊
Attention Lori Kinnear
With respect to your concern about calls not being responded to, my assumption is you were referring to “Dropped Calls” which are CFS that for one reason or another were not dispatched. That information is readily available via the CAD/RMS system so all you have to do is ask for that data and you should be able to get it quickly, once you receive the data it has to be analyzed as to type of call, call priority, and staffing level at the time of the call. The image above gives you some idea of where CFS originate, and whether or not they are ultimately dispatched.
I thought some of the questions asked by the City Councilmembers were good, but unfortunately, they didn’t ask enough and hopefully they will before any budget decisions are made regarding SPD staffing.
One of the funnier questions I thought was when Freesmeyer was trying to sell his 12-hour shit strategy. Council President Stuckart interrupted, turned to Craig Meidl and Major King and asked, “We have to negotiate a change in shift…right?” The answer of course is yes. I don’t know for sure if the Guild is looking to change to 12-hour shifts, but as a heads up to Council President Stuckart and the rest of the City Council, here is where Mr. Freesmeyer’s work sometimes ends up.
Another funny thing that happened during Mr. Freesmeyer’s presentation was his emphasis on the inability of SPD to capture the time it takes to write a report, now I found this quite odd considering the amount of money we citizens have spent on equipping the entire SPD with Laptops to do their report writing and improve their efficiency and pro-active time.
Who would have guessed that those Laptops with all that software would NOT capture and identify usage data…oh well?
Maybe we should dump the Laptops and go back to the way us old timers used to do it?
As would have been expected the conversation regarding the dangers of doing reports in the field on a Laptop were emphasized by Mr. Freesmeyer and some of the cop folks present.
Another funny thing was when Freesmeyer tried to tell the City Council Members how time consuming it is to take a Fraud Report by an officer in the field, citing all the social media stuff like Facebook, Identity Theft etcetera. The truth is Patrol Cops don’t take extensive reports on Fraud Cases in any mid to large Department, they take a basic report with just the names and the known facts, and a Detective does the follow-up. Of course, in Spokane SPD doesn’t do a whole lot of Fraud Investigation anyway.
Okay Followers and Councilmembers yes, like I told some of you I knew what would be coming from Mr. Freesmeyer, but it wasn’t any kind of wizardry on my part, just a matter of experience, reading all of his previous analyses, tracking the changes, noting the boilerplate and graphics utilization, and developing a probability matrix…no big deal!
I should note that at the end of the meeting Council President Stuckart suggested I talk to Mr. Freesmeyer, which I tried to do, but for some reason he was in a hurry to catch a plane…maybe next time?